Why is science trying to read and manipulate our dreams?

Without safeguards, the abuse of dream tech is inevitable

Why is science trying to read and manipulate our dreams?By 2030, could an agency record everything we dream? Danish member of parliament Ida Auken thought so. In her 2016 blog post on the World Economic Forum’s website and republished by Forbes, “Welcome to 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy and Life Has Never Been Better,” Auken envisioned a person saying, “Once in a…

Gypsy moths have invaded North America. What can we do?

Insects are already in serious decline throughout the world, so killing insects for the sake of killing them seems ill-advised

Gypsy moths have invaded North America. What can we do?This seems to be a good year for gypsy moths and a bad one for people who love trees. Have you never seen a gypsy moth? This might be the best time to find them. Look for a light to dark brown, medium-sized moth flying in a seemingly erratic way. These are the males. They’re…

Islet transplant patient 252: ‘A second chance at a better life’

Procedure developed at U of A guides islet cell transplants for people with Type 1 diabetes around the world

Islet transplant patient 252: ‘A second chance at a better life’Nina Greene’s diabetes was so hard to control, she had “Type 1 Diabetic” tattooed on her left wrist – a guarantee that emergency medical personnel could identify her illness quickly if she was found unconscious. Despite all her efforts to manage her diabetes, she wound up in hospital so often with high or low blood…

Nationwide citizen science program critical for bird conservation

Canadian Nightjar Survey recruits volunteer citizen scientists for the study of nocturnal birds

Nationwide citizen science program critical for bird conservationTen years ago, University of Alberta PhD candidate Elly Knight started a volunteer citizen science program. Since then, the Canadian Nightjar Survey has grown from a single volunteer in southern British Columbia to several hundred citizen scientists across the country – and more volunteers are needed. Their mission? To monitor the nightjars that breed in Canada. These fascinating,…

‘Molecule libraries’ help speed the search for new drugs

Alberta-based 48Hour Discovery works with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to streamline the process

‘Molecule libraries’ help speed the search for new drugsWith the cost of drug development beginning to skyrocket in the 1990s, pharmaceutical giants thought the path to better economics lay in high-throughput screening facilities that would test libraries that ranged in size from a few thousand up to million compounds at a time. “Separate shelves, many rooms, with the emphasis on robotics and automation…

Cannabis should not be taken during pregnancy: study

New U of A research has implications for prenatal development in humans

Cannabis should not be taken during pregnancy: studyZebrafish exposed to the leading cannabinoids found in cannabis in the earliest stages of development suffer a significant drop in neural activity later in life, according to a University of Alberta study that has implications for prenatal development in humans. Richard Kanyo, the lead author on the study and post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Medicine…

New study may help explain low oxygen levels in COVID-19 patients

U of A researchers find SARS-CoV-2 infects immature red blood cells, reducing oxygen in the blood and impairing immune response

New study may help explain low oxygen levels in COVID-19 patientsA new study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports by University of Alberta researchers sheds light on why many COVID-19 patients, even those not in hospital, are suffering from hypoxia – a potentially dangerous condition in which there’s decreased oxygenation in the body’s tissues. The study also shows why the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone has been…

Scientists reveal the secret lives of Canada lynx

Cutting-edge recording technology captures never-before-heard sounds of the elusive boreal predators hunting, fighting and sleeping

Scientists reveal the secret lives of Canada lynxUsing a Fitbit and a spy mic, University of Alberta scientists have revealed new insights into the behaviour of the elusive Canada lynx. The research provides a first look at how miniaturized technology can open the door to remote wildlife monitoring. “Working on one of the boreal forest’s top predators, the Canada lynx, we found…

New research chair will look into the future of forests

The work of the $4-million endowed position will help inform forest companies as they sustainably manage land for timber and biodiversity

New research chair will look into the future of forestsRobert Froese can tell you the exact moment he knew forestry would be his lifelong career. He was an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia, standing in the forest with his classmates. “My professor went crashing into the woods … and he came back with a big Douglas-fir branch,” said Froese. “It was rainy…

Marker may predict response to cancer immunotherapy

Abundance of protein galectin-9 in cancer patients is associated with poor response to immunotherapy

Marker may predict response to cancer immunotherapyUniversity of Alberta researchers have uncovered a link between the expression of the protein galectin-9 (gal-9) and whether a cancer patient will benefit from immunotherapy. The discovery could help inform physicians about which patients will likely respond to immunotherapy and lead to better treatment options. Immunotherapy or biological therapy is the treatment of disease by…

The elegant and essential cones of coniferous trees

Many birds explore the nooks and crannies of these seed-bearing pods as they try to pry the seeds loose or find minute insects

The elegant and essential cones of coniferous treesAs we welcome spring, we see the remnants of pine and spruce cones previously covered by snow. Few of us think about how important these cones are to the floral and faunal communities – as food and to ensure the next generation of trees is born. Many species of coniferous trees produce cones – pines,…

Study sheds new light on how huge carnivorous dinosaurs moved

International study sheds new light on how the huge carnivorous dinosaurs moved, based on fossil evidence of their footprints

Study sheds new light on how huge carnivorous dinosaurs movedNew research by an international team including paleontologists at the University of Alberta and the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum has revealed evidence that juvenile tyrannosaurs were more trim and slender-bodied than their multi-tonne elders, a difference that may have helped them pursue fast-moving prey. “The results suggest that as some tyrannosaurs grew older and…

Study sheds new light on how huge carnivorous dinosaurs moved

International study sheds new light on how the huge carnivorous dinosaurs moved, based on fossil evidence of their footprints

Study sheds new light on how huge carnivorous dinosaurs movedNew research by an international team including paleontologists at the University of Alberta and the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum has revealed evidence that juvenile tyrannosaurs were more trim and slender-bodied than their multi-tonne elders, a difference that may have helped them pursue fast-moving prey. “The results suggest that as some tyrannosaurs grew older and…

Snake jaw structure yields new understanding of evolutionary origins

Study re-examining what early snakes might have looked like

Snake jaw structure yields new understanding of evolutionary originsNew research led by a University of Alberta graduate student could lead to reimagining what early snakes might have looked like, suggesting that some of the world’s supposedly simplest snakes have a more complex evolutionary history than traditionally thought. Snakes are broadly divided into two groups based on their feeding mechanisms: macrostomatan snakes, able to…

Safer source of islet cells targeted for people with Type 1 diabetes

U of A researchers are harnessing AI to analyze patients’ own cells to create islet cells for transplant

Safer source of islet cells targeted for people with Type 1 diabetesUniversity of Alberta researchers are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to find a safer, more personalized source of islet cells to treat Type 1 diabetes. The research project, a collaboration between the departments of surgery and computing science, aims to use AI to analyze images to speed up the process and reduce the need for human decision-making…

Tackle heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetes

U of A pharmacy researcher looks for ways to correct a common but often hidden type of diabetes-related heart failure

Tackle heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetesA University of Alberta laboratory has uncovered a new approach to preventing heart failure in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to research findings published recently in the journal Cell Reports. “We know people with diabetes take drugs for years to control their blood sugars, but the drugs don’t cure their diabetes,” said lead author John Ussher, associate…

Tackling heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetes

U of A pharmacy researcher looks for ways to correct a common but often hidden type of diabetes-related heart failure

Tackling heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetesA University of Alberta laboratory has uncovered a new approach to preventing heart failure in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to research findings published recently in the journal Cell Reports. “We know people with diabetes take drugs for years to control their blood sugars, but the drugs don’t cure their diabetes,” said lead author John Ussher, associate…

Protein that blocks body’s ability to clear bad cholesterol identified

Researchers are now looking to develop a drug that will boost existing statin drugs to prevent heart disease

Protein that blocks body’s ability to clear bad cholesterol identifiedA team of researchers at the University of Alberta has uncovered a long-sought link in the battle to control cholesterol and heart disease. The protein that interferes with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors that clear ‘bad’ cholesterol from the blood was identified in findings recently published in Nature Communications by Dawei Zhang, associate professor of pediatrics in the Faculty…

How changing boreal forests could affect caribou

Researchers examine what logging, climate change and other factors mean for caribou populations

How changing boreal forests could affect caribouNew research by University of Alberta biologists paints a clearer picture of how food webs are shifting in response to changing habitats in Canada’s boreal forests, and what it means for dwindling caribou populations. “We know that habitat, prey and predators such as wolves are all pieces of the caribou conservation puzzle, and here we…

How do we fairly welcome trans athletes to playing fields?

The general approach should be to have experts in each sport come together and decide on the specific rules for allowing fair competition

How do we fairly welcome trans athletes to playing fields?Most of the sports issues I write about are pretty straightforward – at least in my mind. The solutions seem pretty clear. Do big-time college athletes deserve a bigger slice of the billions being made from their efforts? Undoubtedly. In an era in which childhood obesity is at epidemic levels, and teenage anxiety, depression and…

Any memory boost from morning exercise is short-lived

U of A undergrad researcher finds surprising effect on memory eight hours after physical activity

Any memory boost from morning exercise is short-livedExercising first thing in the morning makes long-term memory recall increasingly hard as the day continues, according to surprising results from an undergraduate student-led study that challenges conventional wisdom about the positive role physical activity plays in making new memories. “If you’re going to exercise in the morning, you might have a little trouble remembering…

U of A spinoff, U.S. firm merge to commercialize transplant technology

Bridge to Life commits US$10 million to clinical trial and commercial development of Tevosol Ex-Vivo Organ Support System

U of A spinoff, U.S. firm merge to commercialize transplant technologyUniversity of Alberta spinoff company Tevosol has merged with the U.S.-based medical technology company Bridge to Life, bringing its game-changing organ transplant devices a step closer to approval, manufacture and global distribution. While Tevosol will remain based in Edmonton, Bridge to Life has committed US$10 million to a multi-centre clinical trial and commercial development of Tevosol’s Ex-Vivo Organ Support…

Fat cells may influence how the body reacts to heart failure

Promising results in mice open door to new areas of research in treating patients

Fat cells may influence how the body reacts to heart failureResearchers have found that limiting the amount of fat the body releases into the bloodstream from fat cells during heart failure could help improve outcomes for patients. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Jason Dyck, professor of pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and director of the University of Alberta’s Cardiovascular Research Centre, found…

U of A neuroscientist Maria Ioannou receives Sloan Research Fellowship

Her research focuses on new approaches to lipid biology that could shed new light on a wide variety of diseases

U of A neuroscientist Maria Ioannou receives Sloan Research FellowshipA neuroscientist at the University of Alberta has received a Sloan Research Fellowship in recognition of her innovative work in lipid biology using medical imaging techniques that could shed new light on a wide variety of diseases. Maria Ioannou, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and adjunct in the Department of Cell Biology in the Faculty of Medicine &…

Potential new treatments for cardiovascular disease

Researchers have identified a new mechanism responsible for the buildup of plaque on artery walls

Potential new treatments for cardiovascular diseaseGlycomics researchers at the University of Alberta and CHU Sainte-Justine have reported a discovery that could lead to new treatments for cardiovascular disease. The researchers identified a new mechanism responsible for the buildup of plaque on artery walls, a process known as atherosclerosis. This plaque, made up of fats, cholesterol and other substances, can restrict…

Tracking common nighthawks to shed light on declining populations

U of A biologists track the migratory birds over 10,000 km with GPS to study their route – and the cause behind their declining numbers

Tracking common nighthawks to shed light on declining populationsA new study by University of Alberta biologists has created a comprehensive picture of the 10,000-km migratory route of common nighthawks using GPS data. The study is the first step in analyzing where and why the birds’ population numbers are declining. “Like many migratory bird species, common nighthawks are declining, but the rate of those…

New way identified to track severity and progression of ALS

Researchers hope to move toward earlier diagnosis and effective treatments

New way identified to track severity and progression of ALSUniversity of Alberta researchers have discovered a new method to identify the severity of Lou Gehrig’s disease in patients and track its progression. The U of A team, led by Sanjay Kalra, a professor in the Division of Neurology, has made progress toward an imaging biomarker for white-matter degeneration in the brains of ALS patients. They hope…

New research provides insight into evolutionary origin of the eye

Hagfish eyes uncover unexpected similarities to those of other vertebrates, including humans

New research provides insight into evolutionary origin of the eyeThe answer to the age-old mystery of the evolutionary origins of vertebrate eyes may lie in hagfish, according to a new study by biologists at the University of Alberta. “Hagfish eyes can help us understand the origins of human vision by expanding our understanding of the early steps in vertebrate eye evolution,” explained lead author…

Stem cell therapy research for Type 1 diabetes receives funding

Three U of A researchers will help lead projects to advance treatments for patients

Stem cell therapy research for Type 1 diabetes receives fundingUniversity of Alberta researchers are among two Canadian research teams chosen for significant new funding from the government of Canada and JDRF Canada to develop new stem cell-based therapies for treating Type 1 diabetes. The projects will each receive $1.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (CIHR-INMD), along with…

How baby’s first breath triggers life-saving changes in the brain

Discovery may help explain cases of sudden infant death syndrome

How baby’s first breath triggers life-saving changes in the brainAt the moment of birth, the essential role of delivering life-saving oxygen to the baby switches from mom and her placenta to the baby’s lungs and brain. That the timing of this happens so precisely is miraculous, but how it happens remains largely a mystery. New research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, in…